Published: Mon, June 26, 2017
USA | By Kelli Rowe

Trump tells Democrats they need 'courage' to fix ObamaCare


Addressing reporters Sunday, the Senate's No. 2 Republican said passing a health care bill won't get any easier if Republican leaders delay a Senate vote on the GOP health care plan. Sen.

"This bill that's now in front of the United States Senate.is simply not the answer, and I'm announcing today that in this form I will not support it", Heller said at a news conference in Las Vegas with Gov. Brian Sandoval Friday morning, pointing to the bill's dramatic reductions in Medicaid.

"I can not support a piece of legislation that takes insurance away from tens of millions of Americans and tens of thousands of Nevadans", Heller said.

(For the first million you make, you get a tax cut the size of the median USA income.) Most Democrats are alarmed, and some Republicans, especially governors in states that went with the Medicaid program, like Arizona, are concerned as well.

Next week, the U.S. Senate will consider the "Better Care Reconciliation Act", (BCRA), its version of legislation to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. "Obamacare" or the ACA).

"This bill may change, but Republicans will only be putting lipstick on a devastating blow to Americans' health care", said Sen. There is also an open question of whether Republicans can undo insurance regulations under the complex procedural rules they are using to pass the bill with only 50 votes.

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While the bill proposed Thursday doesn't exactly dismantle the contraceptive care benefits laid out under the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka Obamacare), the bill axes many Medicaid protections, meaning that many people covered under Medicaid are now at risk of losing their contraceptive care. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mike Lee of Utah and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. Some conservatives think current plans don't go far enough; others say those plans will hurt numerous people they represent. Facing unanimous Democratic opposition, McConnell can afford to lose just two of the 52 GOP senators and still prevail.

A spokesman for Arizona's current governor, Republican Doug Ducey, said the governor was studying the GOP bill. The Senate measure maintains much of the structure of a House bill passed in May but differs in several key ways. "There's still an opportunity to make this bill better", he said.

She said there are seven to eight other moderate Senate Republicans who share her deep concerns about Medicaid cuts. The Senate bill also calls for a tighter cap on federal spending in Medicaid overall than the House bill did.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said he's willing to alter the measure to attract support, and promised plenty of back-room bargaining as he tries pushing a final package through his chamber next week. There's no money in the state budget to pick up the tab for services the Republican bill will cut.

"It's going to be very hard to get me to a yes", he said, noting that conservative Republican senators would likely be reluctant to add spending back to the measure.

Heller also cited the bill's impact on treatment for opioid addiction and the likelihood that the plan would fail to reduce premiums.

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"We've got to keep doing it at an accelerated pace", Charles Koch said.

US President Donald Trump acknowledged that a lack of support from four Senate Republicans leaves the party's healthcare overhaul on a "very, very narrow path" to win passage, but signaled a willingness to work with them to make changes. "The Senate bill may be meaner". They oppose the bill, but only on paper.

"I want the bill to look more like a repeal bill", Paul told MSNBC on Friday. The cuts in Medicare reimbursement, which are primarily for health for the elderly, were used to fund the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare.

"That is why we need the Congressional Budget Office assessment", Collins said.

But in his interview on Sunday, Trump seemed confident in the contents of the Senate's bill, as well as its passage - although he predicted some changes to placate the senators that are now not supporting the legislation.

Under both the Senate and House bills, that surcharge goes away in 2023.

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